Melissa Gillian Marsden is a passionate advocate for social justice and a self-confessed political junkie. She is a freelance journalist starting her own business (Framing the Narrative) and a regular contributor to online publications including Independent Australia.
Melissa was diagnosed with hydrocephalus at six weeks old and at the age of six, suffered a traumatic brain injury leaving her legally blind, with short-term memory loss and mobility issues for which she uses a white cane. Melissa’s fight to be treated fairly and not be discriminated against has been a turbulent one.
Melissa has a keen interest in and regularly writes about a range of issues including disability, feminism, inequality as well as political and media biases. Melissa believes journalists and the media must shine a light on the structural inequalities in our society that place people, like her, behind the eight ball.
Melissa has several degrees in Politics, History and most recently Journalism from the University of Adelaide, and is currently undertaking research looking at media portrayals of people with disabilities and their influence on how society perceives people with disabilities. Through her academic and media contributions, Melissa has gained experience in both short and long-form journalism.
In addition to her academic and professional interests, Melissa is a keen horse rider and grade five para-equestrian classified rider. Whilst Melissa does not use her riding as a form of therapy in the traditional sense, doing so has fostered greater self-efficacy, resilience and mobility, and had incredible emotional and physical benefits for her.
She says: “Riding is freedom. The horse sees what I can’t and I have more mobility onboard than on the ground. More than that, the horse is a therapist, a guide, a friend, and a chariot.”
As said by her friend para-equestrian Noella Angel: “A horse can complete a whole human,” and Melissa couldn’t agree more.